J’adore le Film

I didn’t think I would ever want to be a film actor.

I graduated with something of a complex, which happens to many actors like myself…THEATRE actors.  You know, theatre-is-the-real-art blah blah blah.

I could go on and on about the differences between film and theatre but that’s not what I’m talking about today, kids.

I sort of “fell” into film.  The very first actual filming I did was with two friends of mine.  We were cast in a PSA for Mohegan Sun about gambling.  I found it incredibly strange..And also…refreshing.  It was so DIFFERENT from theatre!  In a weird but awesome way.

And by “falling” into film, I immediately fell in love with it.  You know those people who say “UGH I hate brussels sprouts,” but they’ve never even tried them?  And then they try them, and love them?  Yeah, I was one of those people I guess.

Film requires long hours, spontaneity, flexibility, the ability to shoot at all hours of the day or night, MONEY, lots of people, and many different resources.

When you think about it, filming is sort of insane.  WHY would you want to put yourself through it?  Quick, think of your favorite film.  Okay.  Hold it.  THAT is why filmmakers and actors put themselves through it.

Just to capture that one beautiful, perfect moment on film is priceless.  You can watch it over and over, and it’s recorded, it is a MOMENT that is PROVEN over and over again.  How freaking awesome is that?

To be honest, filming for me is very zen.  Yes it’s hurry-up-and-wait and extremely stressful most of the time.  This past month I’ve worked anywhere from 10-14 hour days, many of them completely overnight.  On a film set, you have no clue when you are going to begin or end filming.  You just know that it’s going to be a long one.

In this past month alone I have worn extensions, zebra striped pants, hipstery outfits, men’s shirts, kid’s clothing, etc.  EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL in film shows up.  Every piece of hair, makeup, the way the clothing hangs, is scrutinized.  For example…have you ever watched a tv show or film where there’s let’s say..a high school Halloween party..and EVERYONE has costumes that are a little TOO perfect?  Yeah.  That’s what I’m talking about.  You know why it’s like that?  Because it CAN be like that.  Movies are always a little bit more polished than real life.

It’s hard for the average non-film-worker to realize that the actual making of films are not all that glamorous.  But you know something else?  I think that’s what makes films all the more magical.  Between all the work and sleepless nights and coffee guzzling and script changes and massive equipment and location lockdowns, glamour is essentially non-existant.  But does that matter? Ask me and I say HELL…no!  We are selling the product of art.  And isn’t art supposed to make you feel a little bit more, question decisions and actions with more conviction, essentially get lost in a story so you can more easily get through your own? Well,  I certainly think so.

So let the people line up across the street, aiming to get a photo of Kate Winslet with their camera phones.  Let people freak out when they spot Jason Reitman at the local Starbucks.  Let the people gossip around town when they see a bunch of camera equipment piling up in someone’s yard.

Film is amazing and there’s nowhere else I’d rather spend a 14 hour day.  Not even Aruba.


4 thoughts on “J’adore le Film

  1. I always wondered at folks who preferred film acting over stage acting, and you make an excellent argument in behalf of film. To my way of thinking, I always like hearing and audience laugh or cry or gasp at something I say or do onstage, but, to tell you the truth, I also enjoy working with talented people in front of the camera.
    Film is the more complex of the two art forms. Theater, at least on the surface, appears to be a more raw experience, where, if you as an actor screw up, there is no second or third or twenty-fifth take. Film can also be manipulated to create a different, perhaps more refined, artistry than the stage.
    And, of course, film is more permanent than a stage performance. Once the moment is complete onstage, it’s gone forever.
    GLAD you enjoy film, and, as I’ve said to you at least a dozen times in the past, it is SO GOOD to see you SO EXCITED about your art!!!!
    And, by the way, I don’t HAVE to taste brussel sprouts to know that I completely and thoroughly detest them!!!!! 🙂

    1. hahaha Jim! It’s so funny because it’s REALLY difficult for me to say I prefer one over the other. It really is like comparing apples and oranges. Theatre is WONDERFUL and more complete in one sitting as an actor, I think. I agree 100%. The rush from the audience and feeling that human connection is priceless.

      Sometimes in theatre the pressure is a lot more intense depending on what you are doing. However, film requires you to be IN THE MOMENT instantly on cue in a limited time frame. THAT can be very intimidating.

      I do think film is beautiful in that the moment that you create can be kept forever and viewed by the masses many times over.

  2. I love this Casey! The way I describe the difference to people is that theater is more of the actor’s medium, and film is more the director’s medium. In theater, you have a director who guides you along in the process of finding your character, but ultimately, you are in charge of your performance. In film, the director has the control; they choose the order you shoot the film, which I think has an affect on your overall performance, and they choose what take they use in the end. I too love both; theater is exhilarating and the rehearsal process allows you to really become that character and find that person that is totally different from you, and it’s absolutely amazing when you get to opening night and hear the audience’s reaction for the first time. Film is great because the end result is something you only have partial responsibility for, unless you’re also the director. It’s also exhilarating in a way because you don’t have full control over it, and there is something to be said of the feeling you get when you’re not the one in control. As always, I love reading your blog. You never fail to get me more excited about acting, in all mediums!

    1. Shannon! You worded it perfectly! I ALSO think it is exhilarating in a way to NOT know what is going to happen with your work! Sometimes you work so hard on a moment that never makes the final cut…other times you are left surprised, amazed, and perfectly pleased with how it’s edited. It’s always a new adventure! I think that any actor who is able to work in theatre and film is extremely lucky because you learn something new every time!

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